Hollander’s was started and is owned by Tom and Cindy Hollander. They opened their store in 1991 and 2020 marks 30 years they have been in the Kerrytown Market & Shops, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Over the years their business grew from 200 square feet to, at one point, over 14,000 square feet and three full floors of the Godfrey building.
Hollander’s has become nationally recognized as a leading source for unique decorative papers (with over 2,000 in stock), as well as a major source of hand-bookbinding tools and supplies. In addition they also established an extensive program of book and paper art workshops, which they began in 1993.
Along with decorative papers, bookbinding supplies, and workshops, Hollander's is considered Ann Arbor's premier stationery store with a large collection of greeting cards, journals, address books, gift wrap, ribbon, and many unique gift items.
Here is a short video of Hollander's Kerrytown store which was filmed in 2014. For more about Hollander's history over the years, continue reading below.
1960’s and 70’s – Tom learned book and box making from his mother, Annette Hollander, who developed a small craft business called Bookcraft in Hamden, Connecticut. Cindy grew up enjoying all arts and crafts and had a special passion for interior design and stationery products.
1986 – Living in Ann Arbor, Tom and Cindy decided to start a similar book and box making craft business from their home, which gradually grew into full-time jobs for both of them. They mostly sold their handcrafted book, box, and desk accessories at local and Midwestern art fairs.
1991 – Tom and Cindy opened a retail store named Hollander's, located on the second floor of the Kerrytown Shops Market Building in downtown Ann Arbor. From this very small 200 square foot space, they sold their unique decorative paper covered products handmade in their home.
1992 – Hollander's expanded into a larger 500 square foot space across the hallway where they began selling decorative papers and bookbinding supplies used in their craft. They also began adding stationery products.
1993 – Tom and Cindy started offering store demonstrations of their craft. They attracted the attention of several local book and paper artists who also participated in various demonstrations.
1994 – As community interest grew, they decided to start teaching one and two day workshops in their store. Later they adopted the name Hollander’s School of Book & Paper Arts to describe their class offerings. Along with local instructors, they started offering bookbinding, book arts, paper making, paper marbling, calligraphy, collage, and origami workshops.
1996 – Hollander's was able to expand by adding 900 square feet behind their store front.This enabled Tom and Cindy to move their work studio from their home and expand the school space for teaching workshops.
2000 – A much larger expansion took place when they added 2,500 square feet to their existing store on the second floor of the Market Building. In the process, they substantially grew their decorative paper collection, bookbinding supplies, and stationery products. The first of six Hollander's School of Book & Paper Arts “graduation” ceremonies was held.
2001 – Another opportunity arose, allowing Hollander's to move their school to the 3,500 square foot basement of Kerrytown's Godfrey building. Over the next few years, large bookbinding and letterpress equipment was added. More workshops were introduced, bringing to their school nationally recognized instructors from around the country.
2003 – Tom and Cindy founded and partnered with the Kerrytown District Association to start the Kerrytown Bookfest. This event emphasized a very strong book and paper arts component. Over the next 10 years the Bookfest grew into a major fall event in Ann Arbor and continues today. The Farmers' Market, located adjacent to Hollander's store, was filled with a multitude of book and paper arts booths and demonstrations.
2004 – Hollander's continued their expansion and relocated their upstairs retail store to the newly vacant 5,000 square foot location on the ground floor of the Godfrey building, where it is now located. Ideally, it was directly above their workshop and school space. The store front was modified to connect the two floors and in the much larger retail store, they soon became recognized as an anchor store in the Kerrytown Shops and one of the country’s premier paper stores.
2005 – Hollander's formed a partnership with the American Academy of Bookbinding, a professional bookbinding school based in Telluride, Colorado. Through AAB, they began offering intensive one and two week long workshops in advanced bookbinding, book repair, and paper conservation. These classes were taught by world renowned instructors, including Don Etherington and Monique Lallier.
2006 – Tom and Cindy celebrated their 15th year in business at Kerrytown. Hollander’s school grew to offering over 60 workshops a year, with nearly 1,000 students attending annually. Classes filled quickly and the school attracted participants from around the country.
2009 – When an opportunity to expand again presented itself, Tom and Cindy decided they were ready for a new creative adventure and opened Hollander’s Kitchen & Home store on the second floor of the Godfrey Building. This space was directly above their paper store and was connected to it by a large interior stairway which allowed easy access to an extensive selection of kitchenware and home décor items. There was even a beautiful existing kitchen that Hollander’s utilized to offer weekly cooking classes. As a result, Hollander’s now occupied three full floors with over 14,000 square feet.
2010 – Meanwhile, Tom and Cindy continued to be involved with their craft. and wrote and published their first book, Constructing and Covering Boxes. They regularly made their products to sell in the store and often made custom books and boxes for their customers, an aspect the business they have always enjoyed. Among some of their commissioned pieces were those for Gerald Ford, Stephen M. Ross, and the Arthur Miller family.
2013 – This year proved to be challenging for the Hollanders. By now they had successfully established a large new kitchen store, maintained a full workshop program, ran a successful Internet business, and oversaw all aspects of owning a small business. However, they felt certain components needed more of their attention. As a result, Tom and Cindy made the difficult decision to close the kitchen store and take a break from the workshops.
2014 – Downsizing enabled the Hollander's to focus on various aspects of maintaining a successful business. This included implementing new ways to grow and enhance their store’s core offerings. It also enabled them to work closely with their staff to develop and expand the customer service experience, which has always been paramount. Tom and Cindy continued to seek out new and interesting products for their store, including introducing a wide range of art supplies, new decorative papers, card lines, stationery, and unique gift items. Much effort and time was also devoted to creating attractive merchandise displays, as well as creating a richer and inviting store ambiance.
In 2014, Hollander's also rebuilt their website, www.hollanders.com. This made it easier for Internet customers to view and purchase decorative papers and bookbinding supplies. Over the years the website has played an integral role in the growth, awareness, and success of their business.
2016 – Hollander’s celebrated its 25th anniversary and announced plans to reintroduce their book and paper arts workshops in the fall, which had been on hold since 2013. Tom and Cindy also began writing a second book for Schifffer Publishing that focused on bookbinding and custom cases.
2019 – Tom and Cindy completed Introduction to Bookbinding and Custom Cases, and also updated a second edition of their original box making book. Another major undertaking throughout the year was to update and rebuild their website.
2020 – After nearly thirty years in the Kerrytown Market & Shops, Tom and Cindy made their most difficult business decision yet - to close the retail brick and mortar store in June, 2020. They decided, however, to continue their internet business of selling decorative papers and bookbinding supplies, based in a 4000 square foot warehouse space in the Ann Arbor area. They also hope to offer workshops in the space in 2021. Tom and Cindy are looking forward to staying involved with what they love, but in a significantly reduced capacity. This will offer them a more relaxed pace and enable them the time to spend with family, traveling, and enjoying other pursuits.